Photo c/o Mohawk Athletic Department
By Eamonn Vallely, Contributor
The McMaster women’s volleyball team finished their season last year with a record of 10 wins and nine losses, ending with a 0.526 win percentage. Even though it was still a winning season, this was their worst record since 2012-2013, where they won half of their games. The team failed to clinch a playoff spot for the first time in fifteen years. This unfortunate scenario is uncharacteristic of the women’s volleyball team and no one is expecting a repeat of last season. The team is entering this year with serious determination, as any high-level sports team would; especially considering last season’s end
Coach Tim Louks is returning for his 30th season. In Louks’ incredible three decades as head coach, he has been on the sidelines for the many great achievements with of women’s volleyball team. For example, the team won three Ontario University Athletics titles over his tenure, most recently in the 2016-2017 season. Another testament to his prolific career is that Louks has been named Coach of the Year six times by the OUA. An experienced and decorated coach, Louks can surely be counted on to bring the heat this season and inspire the team to overcome any speed bumps along the way.
In addition to Louks, supportinge coaching staff for the team are also strong. Assistant coach Nathan Jansen is returning to the squad for his second year in a row. Jansen is a performance analyst for the Canadian Women’s Youth National Team. His experience at the national level – having seen some of the best young volleyball players from across the country – brings a unique perspective the Marauders can use to their advantage.
The team is only looking up from here. They are led by all-star Jessie Nairn, who is a right-side hitter going into her fourth year. Last season, Nairn was the unaccompanied representative for McMaster on the 2018-19 OUA All-Star first-team choice list, chosen for her accomplishments on the court. Nairn finished 11th overall in the league, averaging 2.97 kills per set and 3.8 points per set. Boasting such an impressive resume, Nairn leads by example and will likely continue to do so in the upcoming season.
Last year, the women’s volleyball team faced a big adjustment as many of their veteran players graduated. With the experience of adjusting to a newer team for a year and still maintaining a winning record, things are looking promising for this team as they take on the 2019-2020 season.
The Marauders had a lot to think about this past off-season. With more experience under their belt and with a strong incoming rookie class led by Marina Vesovic, who is a two-time national and provincial champion, they’re a team that can only go up from here. Look out for the 2019-2020 Women’s Volleyball team, they’re coming out to play.
The official 2018-2019 Women’s Volleyball Roster for the McMaster University Marauders